I've been pointing out a lot of failures that occurred on the local and state level. I in no way letting the fed gov entirely off the hook. I do not intend to indict Republicans or Democrats. I think that the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has been an indictment of government from top to bottom. The only positive (and that in an entirely relative sense) is that the primary area of clusterfuck has been limited to the New Orleans area. From the lack of general reportage of bad news from Biloxi and Mobile and their outlying areas is that their local and state responses have not been as incompetent as that in Louisiana, despite however the fed gov might be "helping" in those areas. If those areas had counted as much on the fed gov as NO/LA had, then the horror would have been spread across a much greater area.
Sounds like the best argument for self-empowered localities under a federal system that I have ever come across.